Friday, February 20

The Big Alligator River (1979)


A.K.A. Il fiume del grande caimano
Directed by Sergio Martino
86 Minutes / NoShame DVD U.S. / Anamorphic 2.35:1 Widescreen

A wealthy land entrepreneur (Mel Ferrer) invites a photographer (Claudio Cassinelli) to capture the scenery of a tourist hotel on a remote jungle island. The photographer strikes up a relationship with a guide (Barbara Bach) and soon they (and the entire island population) find themselves menaced by an enormous alligator. Though the island's natives are beginning to become agitated as well.

What do you get when you take the spice out of sweaty Italian jungle adventure/exploitation? You get The Big Alligator River. Lacking nearly everything that makes such films a spectacle, this flick is like a long fake travelogue that happens to have a rubber gator killing people in a relatively bloodless fashion. The cast is full of instantly recognizable Italian vets like the aforementioned and even the little red-haired girl from Fulci's House by the Cemetery. Yet this line-up alone simply can't help this from being an exercise in constantly looking at the watch. Even Stelvio Cipriani's usually memorable film score work sounds phoned in.

Film: 4/10
DVD Picture: 6/10 (a bit too bright and a shoddy standards conversion)
DVD Sound (English Mono): 3/10

2 comments:

dragonmanes said...

x2 What a stinker, at least The Last Jaws was gory, this was far from Martino's best.

venoms5 said...

I enjoyed this one. I first caught it on the Late Show back in the early 80's when it was under the title, THE GREAT ALLIGATOR. It was great to see the extra gory bits trimmed for the tv showings as well as seeing it restored showing off the colors which are a bit washed out on the Paragon VHS release. It is slow in places, but I thought it was a bit better than Martino's ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN.

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